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Banking Relationships - Is Information the Key?

As more and more financial institutions embrace the concept of CRM, are they really improving their relationships with their customers, and is that improvement equating to dollars on the bottom line?

At the same time, while preparing for T+0, many financial institutions are attempting to provide better access to their stakeholders through Portals. How many of these eBusiness initiatives are really using the all of the data stored across the entire enterprise in a truly integrated way that yields valuable data? Are banks getting value for money on their applications?

According to Gartner Group - the average Enterprise has 14 different databases, and spends 60-70% of its Application development creating ways to access that data. Financial Services companies have more, and their demands are greater. They also require the ability to combine real-time data with information they should already know, to make real-time decisions.

Particularly in financial markets, customers are demanding direct access to such systems, for example to check portfolio performance or make transactions.

Customers of financial institutions are also increasingly demanding access to information relating to all products and services held with the financial institution via online channels. This information needs to be tailored to their needs. In the case of Institutional customers or high net worth individuals, they want the choice of portal access or a financial advisor, but they expect both channels to share the same data. The difficulty arises due to the fact that data within most financial institutions is stored and processed on a product-by-product basis.

In the 1996 Annual Report of Capital One, it was stated that - "Many of our business opportunities are short-lived. We have to move fast to exploit them and move on when they fade". This means that companies that managed to abstract their data requirements from the applications that deliver customer centric services have a huge advantage. They can deliver new products rapidly to suit market conditions, and tie those products to the customers that would benefit greatest from them.

As financial institutions strive to create more value from their activities, they are collecting increasing amounts of electronic data on a number of different data systems - compounding the difficulty of deriving a single, comprehensive view of their business. In order to make better business decisions, many banks are installing business intelligence systems. Their key to success is creating a unified view either through a data warehouse, or through manual, hard-coded integration. Most currently available solutions are expensive to undertake, time consuming and leave the company with a single, inflexible answerFeature Articles, and still much valuable data is still left outside of this process.

Banks have long differentiated themselves on the value add services they are able to provide their customers. This is derived form the information built up from many years experience. Is it not time that one of the most valuable assets currently locked within most enterprises was put to use?

Article Tags: Financial Institutions

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This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing. For previous articles like this, visit 3R's Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles. Do you require a business growth specialist in Ireland with particular expertise on sales, marketing and business development? We help you get more sales leads, close more sales & increase your profit.

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